Saturday, May 7, 2016

bit by bit

The point being: to forget the object, or the terms of this object, and to pick it up again, after it has acquired a strange familiarity, which is the externality proper to itself. 

Does this psychoanalytical process of abstraction, following the determinations of the Real in object relations, suggest an alternate ontological figure for capitalism, as it's interesting to note that Toscano's reading of "real abstraction" takes the Lacanian real as real: "This ontology of real abstraction--which is inextricably political, historical, and economic--is, in Finelli's view, a dual ontology to the extent that it both affirms concrete reality as a 'specific articulation of differences' and reveals the void at the heart of Capital, as it were, as the fact of the Real of its abstraction--to speak in a Lacanian vein--is its absence of determinations, the fact that it has no historical or cultural content per se" (Toscano, "The Open Secret of Real Abstraction" 276). My reading of object relations permits thinking about a "real" that is not void or absence, though it too appears in this form. For if there it is the object's perspective that is the real--and all of the terms of inaccessibility that go along with this--then abstraction's connection to thought might also not be as Toscano describes in the Marxian schema, where "abstraction precedes thought," and as he qualifies, "More precisely, it is the social activity of abstraction, in its form as commodity exchange, that plays the pivotal role in the analysis of real abstraction" (281). 

Psychoanalysis loses grip of the way that abstraction is a social activity; it seems to immediately dispense with the idea of anything social, about activity. But if this all sits inside of the inaccessibility of the perspective of the object as a form of knowledge, if this is something like psychoanalysis's grounding of "knowledge" in the parameters of the irrational, it might mean something else for abstraction to precede irrational thought, for even if this is implied in the Marxian analysis of real abstraction, lingering in the phantasy world of real abstraction would imply a form of "knowing" somewhere between Winnicott's notions of relating and using. Impossible to sustain this perspective, which includes the "false" separation of psychic interiority from the "world," it is perhaps a way of thinking about the Real not as void, but as a space in which the Real is acquired, and acquired, as it were, bit by bit. 

Along these lines, the lines about forgetting the object, this is the very first post I made to this blog, back on Thursday May 3, 2007: 
where does a strange silence begin? some have suggested that it is in the forest, the sound that a falling tree makes when no one is around to hear. at times, for brecht, it's the talked-about tree that is the strange silence. A Strange Silence is the title of the project, my dissertation, the thing that everything here is a footnote to, especially the poems, since they are the leaves, what is left over.
from 4/4/07//:

and the green fall to unsafe water:welcome to the 21st century let not many other things be spared--save your happiness; this was Brecht's nightmare.Humanity, the human dog, wants to let go to forget, dismiss, judge, pee wherever it wants.a condition remiss, or a saying the woods, we are all quiet; it is solace.and save to other things, too, save to find yourself alone. the distance is unmarked. cross-hatches are what i saw in the desert and didn't draw.the things nightmares are made of leave you with the distance of their unmarkings. becky's dreams are about writing (ask me how i felt when my mom died. it's a feeling i can't think of). i watch her grow.communism is short-lived. the brown notebooks are filled. you are always thinking of brecht. his return is unsettling, a time when autonomy in writing is needed.

picture: smoke-covered Minneapolis, with winds shifting downward from the wildfire in Alberta. 
Question posed by RT: "To what extent is it missing from psychoanalysis or occluded in the general category of mourning--the sociology or ethnography of objects and the real abstractions that make them?" Question abstracted and taken up in both "Psychoanalysis and Lit II" and "Poetry as Cultural Critique," classes which have now come to an end. I don't think I've ever said this seriously before, either, least of all to a class, but "it's been real."

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